The Five Key Evolutions of Entrepreneurship

Oh wait, there’s more. Yesterday, I cited a quote from the article “How to Thrive in 2009” by Bo Burlingham of Inc. Magazine. In it, he interviews Jim Collins, author of Built to Last and Good to Great.

Collins also talks about what he calls the “five key evolutions that have helped bring to life the idea of entrepreneurship as a systematic, replicable process” since the 1970s. Before that era, starting your own company was a momentous task that was done without any kind of support. Now, these evolutions have allowed countless individuals to become entrepreneurs:

  • Raising Capital

    There are all kinds of ways to raise capital now, as compared to the 1970s: venture funds, angel networks, private equity, search funds, IPOs, etc. These new methods have enabled many more businesses to grow.

  • Learning To Be An Entrepreneur

    Starting a new business is now considered a learnable process, as opposed to something just wacky, gutsy people do on their own. There are now entrepreneurship classes, seminars, workshops, books, and websites galore, all geared towards teaching someone how to start a business.

  • Being a Hero

    In the 1970s, the role of an entrepreneur was seen as exploitative and sleazy, sort of like a used car salesman. Somewhere along the way, the role did a 180 and is now socially acceptable, even heroic, in some cases. What a flip-flop!

  • Building a Better Process

    Remember the phase, “build a better mousetrap”? That was what being an entrepreneur meant in the 1970s. Now, it means building a better process.

  • Going Through the Stages of Entrepreneurship

    Entrepreneurship has evolved through three stages so far, with a fourth that has been emerging. They are:

    Stage One
    You have a great idea.
    Stage Two
    You build a successful business.
    Stage Three
    You build a great company.
    Stage Four
    You start a movement.

Wow, I got two blog posts out of one Inc. article. Nice!

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Author: Mike Lee

An idealistic realist, humanistic technologist & constant student.

One thought on “The Five Key Evolutions of Entrepreneurship”

  1. That is a good point.I never thought about entrepreneurship being a sleazy word before but if that is true, this is a huge change.

    Another key of entrepreneurship is the ability to go bankrupt and start over again. This might not be an evolution from the 70’s but it is a good key.

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